Peer Review by yapyapxy (Singapore)

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so much is happening and here we are

By: aralyn.kay

PROMPT: Zoom Out

Under the thin hospital blanket, I can feel the rubbery plastic NG tube in my nose. I feel my scars, my slow heartbeat, my shallow breathing. My roommate is restless. I want to be home, not in this prison of pea-green walls and psychiatrists and doctors and dietitians. My roommate and I are both awake. We are both longing for normal. 
As the night begins to fade, the cars and the people are waking up. The sun is rising, and the light spreads across the city, the buildings casting shadows onto the roads. The cars are cold, the engines are not yet warm enough to provide the protection against the bitter winter wind. 

Peer Review

"We are both longing for normal."

I feel that this shows the narrator's desire to get better and escape the hospital which, despite having become their everyday, will never be "normal".

The setting has lots of connotations and the potential to explore and show the narrator's character. I feel that more details can be added if the author is thinking of a more vivid experience of what it's like to stay in a hospital - are there certain things that people who aren't familiar with the hospital wouldn't notice? e.g. the way the nurse begins their rounds early in the morning, the way nurses wake up their patients, the way she remembers her roommate sleeping patterns, etc.

Another potential way to describe the setting is to think about what's the environment in the hospital like, as opposed to the outside world? This way, we can get a sense of how the hospital might have changed the narrator over time, as well as reveal what the narrator misses about "normal".

Reviewer Comments

I really like the title! For me, the title conveyed a sort of quiet acquiescence with how things are now, and I wanted to know what was the significance of her situation to the narrator. I was hoping for what is the "so much is happening" to be revealed in the piece - what has happened while the narrator was in the hospital? So what of "here we are" - does this realisation change the narrator in any way? Though the sense of being in limbo was not fully explored in the piece, I still appreciated the somewhat unfinished mood this piece ended with.

While the prompt focuses on the surroundings, I liked how you included the narrator's relationship with her roommate - I was lowkey hoping for more details haha. I noticed that the details went from the narrator's focus on her physical experiences to her longing, and to the world outside. Besides exploring the contrast of being asleep/awake, you can also think about contrasting the darkness of the hospital room against the brightening of the city.

I hope this review helps you! All the best in your writing endeavours ~